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Season preview: Millwall

Sports Mole casts its eye over Millwall's chances for the 2013-14 Championship season.

With the new Championship season beginning this weekend, Sports Mole casts its eye over the prospects of Millwall, who are now under the guidance of Steve Lomas.

In:

Stephen Bywater (From Sheffield Wednesday, Free), Jermaine Easter (From Crystal Palace, Free), Lee Martin (From Ipswich, Free), Steve Morison (From Leeds United, Loan), Nicky Bailey (Free), Scott McDonald (From Middlesbrough, Free)

Out:

Conor Wilkinson (To Bolton Wanderers, Compensation), Shaun Batt (To Leyton Orient, Free), Steve Mildenhall (To Bristol Rovers, Free), Tamika Mkandawire (To Shrewsbury, Free), Chris Taylor (To Blackburn Rovers, Free), Therry Racon (Released), Maik Taylor (Released)

Last Season: 20th

Manager: Steve Lomas

Three key players:


Rep of Ireland 'keeper David Forde before his debut on September 9, 2012© PA Photos
David Forde - The keeper has made over 200 appearances for Millwall and his performances for the Lions have even seen him emerge as an international goalkeeper with the Republic of Ireland in the last two years. He made his debut for the Irish after his 30th birthday and now, at 33, he remains an integral cog of the Millwall machine. Clubs from the Premier League are said to be interested in Forde, but Lomas is confident that he can keep him. Forde will need to produce a double-figure haul on the clean-sheet front again as he did last season if Lomas's side are to be assured of safety.


Nicky Bailey© PA Photos
Nicky Bailey - Two extremely successful years at Charlton Athletic earned Bailey a move to Middlesbrough three years ago but he never really kicked on in the North East. A tenacious midfielder with an eye for goal, the 29-year-old is now looking to rediscover his best form at Millwall after making just eight appearances for Boro last term. He should be a regular for Lomas in the middle and will benefit from the energy of the likes of Liam Trotter and Josh Wright alongside him.


Scott McDonald on August 21, 2011© PA Photos
Scott McDonald - Only Ipswich Town scored fewer goals than Millwall last year and attackers are an area that Lomas has invested in. Easter, Morison and McDonald have all arrived to sharpen up the frontline and Aussie McDonald could be the most interesting of the three. He moved to the capital earlier this month and Lomas was quite right in saying that he has extra incentive to perform as goals could see him selected for Australia's squad for next year's World Cup in Brazil.

First game: Yeovil (H), Complete fixture list

Sports Mole says: Replacing Kenny Jackett was always going to be a tough ask for Millwall and the appointment of Lomas was hardly the most popular one with supporters because of his allegiance with the club's arch rivals - West Ham United. Bitterness aside, choosing Lomas seems a sound move and the former St Johnstone boss has made some astute signings that should see Millwall avoid a relegation battle. If they are to do anything better than a mid-table finish, then they will have to improve their home form. Along with relegated Wolves and Bristol last season, the Lions achieved the joint-least points in front of their own fans. Performances have to improve at The New Den this campaign.

Predicted finish: 15th

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Scott McDonald on August 21, 2011
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McDonald joins Millwall
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10Middlesbrough461810185553264
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19Bristol City46156254668-2251
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield461213215071-2149
21Derby CountyDerby461111243658-2244
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RRotherham UnitedRotherham46119264460-1642
RSheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461211234061-2141

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